Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

At present, federal law generally bars anyone who is convicted in any court for a domestic violence felony, or any felony for that matter, from possessing firearms. But federal law also imposes a lifetime firearm possession prohibition on those who have been convicted in any court of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” (MCDV). Under the federal statute, in order for a misdemeanor conviction to trigger the firearm ban, the conduct must have been both “violent” and “domestic.”

First, to meet the violence” prong, the crime must have as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.” This may seem straightforward, but the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively read the violence” component out of the definition of MCDV.

In U.S. v. Castleman (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that a persons use of physical force need NOT be violent in order to trigger the firearm prohibition. Rather, such physical contact may consist of only the slightest offensive touching” necessary for common law battery. In fact, under the common law battery standard, merely touching a persons clothing, bag, or something they are holding in their hand in a completely non-violent manner could give rise to a lifetime firearm prohibition.

Second, to meet the domestic” component, the crime must have been committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.” These are categories that are readily understood.

This current lifetime firearm prohibition for a MCDV treats the Second Amendment as a second-class right. No other fundamental, enumerated Constitutional right is permanently lost for a misdemeanor conviction. There is good reason that rights are not extinguished for a lifetime based on misdemeanor convictions. In addition to the law viewing misdemeanor conduct less harshly than felony conduct, misdemeanor defendants are not always provided with the same level of exhaustive due process as those charged with felonies.

Proponents of the original MCDV firearm prohibition contended that the supposed unique nature of domestic violence” required a firearm prohibition for those convicted of misdemeanors. They claimed domestic crimes that should have been felonies were often reduced to misdemeanors because abused spouses and children were reluctant to cooperate with prosecutors due to financial and emotional dependence on the abuser or a shared responsibility for raising children.  Therefore, it was argued, the only way to keep firearms away from these should-be violent felons was to prohibit those convicted of a MCDV from possessing guns.

Here is where the so-called boyfriend loophole” comes in.

Having done away with the violence” requirement of the MCDV prohibitor through the courts, gun control activists now want to eliminate the domestic” component by expanding the categories of relations that give rise to a prohibiting domestic violence” conviction to include a dating relationship.”

Under the current federal prohibition, boyfriends” and other intimates are already covered if the relationship has an actual domestic” component (children in common, cohabitation, etc.). Therefore, the proposed prohibition expansion to “dating partners” targets relationships without this domestic” component and lacks the justifications involving emotional and financial attachment or interdependence that gave rise to the original MCDV prohibition.

Given the complexity of human relationships, the fluidity of modern dating culture, and Congresss express attempt to go beyond an actual domestic” context, it is reasonable to ask: What constitutes a dating relationship?” Good luck trying to find out.

No matter what Congress might put in statute, it will be up to anti-gun Attorney General Merrick Garland and the federal courts to flesh out the details. And Americans can be certain that the gun control lobby will be there every step of the way to ensure the definition is interpreted as broad as possible.

Imagine how the elimination of the domestic” component of MCDV definition would interplay with the elimination of the violence” component that has already taken place. Extending MCDV prohibition offenses to “dating partners,” a broad, vague term that involves none of the interdependence that purportedly justified the original prohibition, is a clear example gun control opponents’ attempts to vastly expand the list of Americans prohibited from possessing firearms.  

The idea that there are “loopholes” for domestic violence perpetrators are false. The legal and criminal justice systems have the necessary tools to prohibit dangerous individuals from possessing firearms – including prosecuting felonious level conduct as a felony.

Domestic violence crimes can and should be taken seriously under the law. The NRA supports that, just as we support empowering the abused to defend themselves and their families. We what do not support is exploiting real problems, like domestic violence, to opportunistically target civil rights, like the Second Amendment and constitutional due process.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Domestic Violence Lautenberg
TRENDING NOW
“I Did That!” Biden’s Gas Crisis Creates Public Safety Crisis

News  

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

“I Did That!” Biden’s Gas Crisis Creates Public Safety Crisis

The Biden Administration is serious about making it more difficult for responsible citizens to exercise their gun rights, which is hardly surprising from the most anti-Second Amendment president in history. What is less obvious is ...

SCOTUS Reverses and Remands Two NRA-ILA Backed Magazine Cases

News  

Thursday, June 30, 2022

SCOTUS Reverses and Remands Two NRA-ILA Backed Magazine Cases

One week after our landmark victory in NYSRPA v. Bruen, the Supreme Court issued orders in two other NRA-ILA backed cases. Those cases, ANJRPC v. Bruck and Duncan v. Bonta, challenge New Jersey and California laws that ban magazines capable ...

California: Legislature Passes and Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, July 1, 2022

California: Legislature Passes and Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills

The California Legislature starts their Summer recess today, but not before a busy week full of defiant action against the recent Supreme Court victory in the NRA case of NYSRPA v. Bruen. The legislature passed several anti-gun ...

New Jersey:  Despite Historic Supreme Court Ruling Gun Bills Advance in Trenton

Friday, July 1, 2022

New Jersey: Despite Historic Supreme Court Ruling Gun Bills Advance in Trenton

On the heels of last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, Majority Democrats in Trenton doubled down on even more Second Amendment infringements by passing yet another package of gun bills.  This is ...

A Century of Opposition to New York’s Sullivan Law

News  

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A Century of Opposition to New York’s Sullivan Law

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s discretionary carry licensing regime as a violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms in the NRA-backed case NYSRPA v. Bruen. The law at ...

California Leaks Personal Data of Carry Permit Holders

News  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

California Leaks Personal Data of Carry Permit Holders

On Monday June 27, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the launch of the California Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Firearms Dashboard Portal. The data tool was designed to give granular firearm transaction and Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit ...

New York:  Majority Democrats Vote in Lockstep to Defy the United States Supreme Court

Friday, July 1, 2022

New York: Majority Democrats Vote in Lockstep to Defy the United States Supreme Court

Anti-Second Amendment politicians returned to Albany late this week and did the bidding of Gov. Kathy Hochul.  She called the Legislature back into an “extraordinary” session this week.  The session was anything but extraordinary. Lawmakers ...

The Dominoes Begin to Fall: NJ Amends Permit Rules After Bruen

News  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Dominoes Begin to Fall: NJ Amends Permit Rules After Bruen

New Jersey’s acting Attorney General, Matthew J. Platkin, issued a directive “clarifying requirements for carrying firearms in public” a day after the historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. ...

NRA-ILA Asks Court to Stop the California DOJ From Releasing Gun Owners’ Personal Information After Massive Data Leak.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

NRA-ILA Asks Court to Stop the California DOJ From Releasing Gun Owners’ Personal Information After Massive Data Leak.

Earlier this week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that he would be releasing firearms data via the California DOJ’s Firearms Dashboard Portal. That data contained gun owners’ names, dates of birth, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and criminal ...

North Carolina: Carry Permit Training Bill Going to Senate Floor

Thursday, June 30, 2022

North Carolina: Carry Permit Training Bill Going to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate pulled House Bill 49 from the Committee on Rules and Operations and will send it to the floor for final passage. It requires sheriffs to waive the training requirement for former concealed carry permit ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.